U.S. Freezes Egyptian Assets; Secretary Dulles Flies to London

The U.S. Government today invoked the Foreign Assets Control Law–a measure adopted in World War II–against Egypt and placed under temporary licensing controls all assets in this country of the Egyptian Government and the Suez Canal Company.

The measure was announced by the Treasury Department following a meeting between President Eisenhower and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles. Immediately after the meeting Secretary Dulles left by plane for London to participate in discussions with the British and French Foreign Ministers on action against Egypt for the seizure of the Suez Canal.

Today’s move would prevent the Egyptian Government and the Suez Canal company–unless they obtain Treasury authorization in advance–from using money in U.S. bank accounts or any other assets which they may be holding in this country. Controls will be applied immediately by Federal Reserve System banks.

A Treasury Department spokesman referred all questions seeking political interpretation to the State Department, explaining that the Treasury Department was only concerned with the technical application of the move against Egypt. The State Department, in the meantime, has revealed that U.S. Ambassador Henry A. Byroade met in Cairo with Egyptian President Nasser yesterday and that a report of their discussion has been received here.

SEN. LEHMAN URGES UNITED NATIONS ACTION AGAINST EGYPT

Senator Herbert H. Lehman today urged the U.S. to use United Nations action to meet the Suez Canal crisis. In a lengthy statement, he advocated United Nations guardianship of the canal. He said that the Suez Canal crisis can only be met by establishing an international regime for the canal which will guarantee respect for the rights of all nations in the international waterway.

The New York Senator criticized the U.S. and the other Western Powers for being “so long dazzled and deluded” by Egyptian President Nasser whom he described as a “would-be Napoleon-on-the Nile.” He said: “Three years ago President Eisenhower sent to the chief of the Egyptian State, by the hand of Secretary Dulles, the gift of a gun. Today, General Nasser is holding that gun to the heads of the Western Powers. He is pointing it from the Suez Canal and at last we are aroused.”

Sen. Lehman cited Egypt’s refusal to let Israeli ships and ships destined for Israel use the international waterway. He said in 1951 the United Nations passed a resolution condemning Egypt for illegal acts in connection with the canal, but the Great Powers had done nothing to implement the UN action. On the contrary, he said, Egypt’s outlawry has been “amiably tolerated.”

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